LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Unanimous No. 1 Florida and the top six teams remained the same in this week’s Division I Top 25 Coaches Poll for games played March 21-27. Occupying the final four spots are James Madison, LSU, Florida State and Georgia, while USF makes its first appearance in the 2016 rankings.
The Gators (33-1) went on the road and swept three games from then-No. 7 LSU at Tiger Park. They shut out the Tigers (26-8) in the first two contests, 3-0, including a nine-inning game two, and held them scoreless through the first 20 innings. UF closed out the series with a 6-2 triumph.
Michigan posted a 3-1 mark, dropping its Big Ten opener to Northwestern (12-13) before rebounding with back-to-back 11-3 wins and improving to 24-3.
Auburn, Oregon and Louisiana-Lafayette each went undefeated last week with the Tigers (30-4) and Ducks (26-4) going 4-0 and the Ragin’ Cajuns (25-2) 3-0. Auburn earned a mid-week win at Georgia State (8-4) and swept South Carolina (10-0, 5-2, 4-3) in SEC play.
Matching a program record, Oregon extended its winning streak to 18 games as it improved to 6-0 in Pac-12 play. Following a resounding win over Washington (16-4), the Ducks made their Jane Sanders Stadium debut with a three-game sweep of Stanford (2-0, 11-2, 8-0).
Louisiana swept a road Sun Belt series at Troy (11-0, 8-1, 8-0) and No. 6 Alabama blanked Alcorn State (8-0) and split the first two game at home against SEC foe and then-No. 16 Missouri (3-7, 9-1).
James Madison jumped up two spots after holding UNC Wilmington to just one run and four hits in a three-game CAA-opening series sweep. LSU (26-8) fell to the eight spot as it went 1-3 last week, picking up a narrow win over Nicholls State (1-0) and being swept by No. 1 Florida.
No. 9 Florida State and No. 10 Georgia returned to the top-10. The Seminoles (26-3) extended its Division-1 leading 21-game winning streak after a sweeping North Carolina in ACC action. FSU is undefeated in it last 27 (24-0-3) ACC series. The Bulldogs (29-5) rebounded from an eight-inning (1-2) loss at South Carolina with four wins over Georgia Southern (9-0) and then-No. 8 Texas A&M (6-3, 9-1, 7-3).
Also riding a Division I-best 21-game winning streak, USF (29-9) joins the poll at No. 23 for the first time this season. The Bulls (29-9) went 5-0 last week with non-conference victories over Marist (9-0) and Northwestern (3-2) and a three-game American Athletic Conference sweep at East Carolina (3-1, 11-3, 8-0). USF finished March with a 22-1 record.
The USA Today/NFCA Division I Top 25 Poll is voted on by 32 NCAA Division I head coaches, one representing each conference. Records reflect games played through March 27, 2016.
-- Image courtesy of Oregon Athletics
2016 USA Today/NFCA Division I Softball Coaches Poll
Week 7 | March 29, 2016 (Results through 3/27)
|Rank||Team||Points||2016 Record||Last Poll|
Dropped Out: No. 24 Nebraska
New to Poll: No. 24 USF
Receiving Votes: Nebraska (16), Ohio State (14), Cal State Fullerton (13), Tulsa (10), Utah (10), UCF (8), Texas (7), California (4), South Alabama 3, South Carolina (2), Illinois (1), McNeese State (1), BYU (1).
The USA Today/NFCA Division I Softball Coaches Poll is voted on by 32 NCAA Division I head coaches, one representing each conference.